The Dakar It is not only more than 13 thousand kilometers away, but also thousands of dollars. With the departure of the rally to Saudi Arabia, the Peruvian presence went from being the protagonist – 36 in 2018 on national soil – to spending two editions in the Middle East without the national colors. During the early morning the eighth stage was run and from Peru, we only followed it on TV and social networks.
The Dakar 2020 was the last, with nine Peruvians on seven teams, and “Because of the pandemic”, he has no longer been able to go, according to what he tells us Carlo Vellutino, Peruvian rider who has gone to 11 editions. That everything has come to a standstill affected the competitors and the search for sponsors. “Companies are just recovering and have their priorities”, adds Fernanda Kanno, who was in 2020.
As the pilots themselves tell us, the cost of the race is similar to participating here than in Saudi Arabia, but the big difference is in the stay and in that to get to the Middle East you must take everything “Because there will be no one to turn to. Nothing can fail you “. So, the costs go up to bring everything you need and equipment that allows you to complete the test.
“Building the car is the most expensive. Then you have to put together a team that knows the car “, tell us Nicolas Fuchs, who in the Dakar 2019 had stages fighting in the top 20.
“There is a very celebrated line from Tierry Sabine. “The Dakar It is an amateur race where professionals are accepted and we want to maintain that spirit “says David Castera, Dakar director, from Saudi Arabia. In effect, there is a ratio of 30% professionals and 70% amateurs, according to what he himself indicates.
But the cost for an amateur pilot to go is high. That is what we asked the former driver and today the event’s sporting director. “The Dakar has incredible strength. What may happen is ahead. It is something that you have to do in your life if you like adventure, desert, motors. If you like the mountain, you are going to climb Everest and the Everest of motorsport is the Dakar, so you have to go to Dakar”, graphics.
In motorcycles it seems to be easier, because he is a single rider. “In my case it is financial assistance, because more than professional assistance, it is a club”, says David Chávez, who signed up for the Dakar last year, but was unable to travel due to the pandemic.
In cars, car rental is a millionaire, so Peruvians build their own vehicles and travel with a ‘team’ of five to seven people, so the costs multiply.
“It killed me that Dakar leave South America. A truck caught fire and I lost all that investment “, It reminds us of Fuchs, who suffered this tragedy in 2018. To compete in the rally, he had to put together a new one, doubling his debts.
If we see the figures [en infografía], we conclude that going to the Dakar is a millionaire investment, so the pilots look for ‘sponsors’ from all sides, not always with positive responses. “Not even when it was in Peru were there too many sponsors”Carlo tells us. However, for Fernanda, the responsibility also goes through the athletes learning to communicate so that everyone benefits.
That is the Dakarian world, a millionaire adventure.
- David Chávez will participate in the South American Rally Race, which will take place in February in Argentina. ProRaid would go too.
- Fernanda Kanno will compete this year on a national scale in a new truck. He has a long-term project to go by truck to the Dakar.
- The Dakar has, in principle, a contract until 2024 to be in Saudi Arabia.